The Tablet: Israeli singer Shai Tsabari Storms the Heavens
For a few minutes, as the opening bit on the first video embedded in this article opens, I am reminded of Ehud Banai, in his punk phase. On other tracks, I am reminded of Yehuda Poliker--both Israeli musicians who have grounded their music in their roots. What I really love here is that mixing of piyyut and modern music forms (just as the original piyyut melodies mixed devotional poetry with the music of times 1500 years ago (give or take a few hundred years?) in the Islamic world. Conceptually, it's like listening to Abraham Inc., but starting from a Mizrahi world instead of an Ashkenazic one.
Shai Tsabari Storms the Heavens, From Bat Yam to New York, by Tal Kra-Oz, The Tablet
Shai Tsabari is an Israeli singer whose music has been called Mizrahi-indie. His debut album and live performances, fusing traditional oriental music with rock, pop, electronic and world music, have attracted some of the most enthusiastic audiences to be found both in Israel and abroad. Tsabari and his band, the aptly named Middle East Groove All Stars, are now embarking on their first mini-tour of the United States. They will perform at Joe's Pub in New York on Aug. 23, and give a free concert at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles two days later. [more]